YWCA Northeastern Massachusetts – A Voice for Women and Girls

Tribute 2014 Honoree Information

Each week we are showcasing one of our 23 amazing 2014 Honorees!  This week, meet…

Malone, Bopha, headshot.jpgBopha Malone
Assistant Vice President Branch Manager, Enterprise Bank

Born in Cambodia and emigrating to the U.S. at the age of two, Bopha enjoyed the freedom and opportunity offered in the States, but it was during a college trip to her homeland that she realized just how lucky she was.  There, she witnessed the effects of landmines when she saw people with missing limbs lying in the streets with no one caring for them, and young female street walkers – no older than 15 –  trying to earn money to help support their families.  It was then Bopha realized growing up in Lynn and attending Lesley University and earning a degree in Business Management was a privilege, and she decided that giving back would become part of her life.  After her trip, she began her career at Enterprise Bank and loved its strong community ties, especially to Cambodian populations.  Upon entering Enterprise Bank’s Leadership Training Program, she immediately became an “all star” on the team.  Her drive, dedication, and can-do attitude were apparent to all, and she quickly assumed additional responsibilities.  New to the Merrimack Valley, Bopha has become a terrific asset to Enterprise and Lowell by building a strong bridge between the bank and the Southeast Asian/Cambodian community.  Bopha is able to use her multilingual skills in Mon-Khmer languages and English as well as her appreciation of cultural differences to assimilate into the Lowell community, where she works.

Coming from a tradition of serving community associations in Lynn, Bopha immersed herself in a wide range of community activities in Lowell.  She has served for over 4 years on the Board of Directors of Girls Inc. of Greater Lowell, a non-profit which provides enrichment programs for girls ages 5 through 18, during after school hours, holidays and summer vacations; has been a member and trustee of the Women Working Wonders fund of the Greater Lowell Community Foundation, which raises funds to support the endeavors of many non-profits serving women and girls in the community; is an active member of the United Way of Mass Bay/Merrimack Valley; and has spoken before 300+ guests at a United Way function, discussing the importance of community involvement in her life.  Bopha has also been involved with the Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association of Lowell (CMAA), a non-profit organization that advocates for both elderly and youth causes and continually focuses on ways to assist the Cambodian community.  She currently serves as its Chairwoman, bringing a fresh spirit and enthusiasm to the role.  Bopha accomplishes all the above while juggling her role as a wife to Thomas and mother of two young children.

Donna Luisi
Senior Principal Scientist, Pfizer, Inc.Luisi, Donna, headshot.jpg

Donna was fortunate to have family and teachers who encouraged her to transform her love of science into a career.  She overcame the challenges of pursuing post-secondary degrees in a field that was predominately male.  When she began her studies, she quickly sought the guidance of one of the only female chemistry professors. It was with the guidance of this mentor that Donna began her undergraduate research, and motivated her to continue her education. She obtained her BS and Ph.D. in Chemistry, and then held a postdoctoral position in Molecular Biology & Biophysics.  After completing her education, she moved to Massachusetts to accept a position that began her career at Pfizer.  In her current role, Donna and her group have been working to optimize and develop formulations and dosage forms for peptides, antibodies, drug conjugates and vaccines for Phase I through commercial development, utilizing biophysical techniques.  She has worked on therapies for diseases including cancer, Alzheimer’s, obesity, type 2 diabetes and meningitis.  Donna has taken the initiative to seek appropriate training in new processes and sought input from other Pfizer sites when needed.  Her work has resulted in several patents, and she is often invited to present at conferences of her peers.  She currently manages a group of scientists and helps guide their career development and encourages their scientific interests while moving the various therapies forward through to development.

Donna began her volunteer work soon after moving to Massachusetts. Combining her love of children and horses, she volunteered at the Ironstone Farm riding stables in Andover, which serves children with disabilities.  Donna served as a horse walker at the farm, assisting the physical and occupational therapists during riding lessons for young children.  Donna is the driving force in her department’s annual Christmas Toy Drive, which delivers gifts to boys and girls at St. Ann’s Home and School in Methuen Massachusetts.  Through a Pfizer-approved program, Stand and Deliver, Donna has mentored a Lawrence junior high student, in particular helping her in the areas of math and science.  Donna has participated in numerous workshops for young scientists at Tufts University as well as in career day high school workshops geared towards math and science.  She also mentors at the professional level, helping to guide and encourage junior scientists through the early years of their careers at Pfizer. She is wife to John and mother to three little boys, whom she hopes to encourage to be anything they want to be (but hopefully, scientists!)

Susan Grabski
Executive Director, Lawrence History CenterGrabski, Susan, headshot.jpg

Susan, who has always lived and worked in the Merrimack Valley, graduated from the University of Massachusetts – Lowell in 1992 with a dual degree in Art History and English, and went on to obtain her Master’s Degree in Education from American International College.  Susan began her career with non-profits as House Coordinator at an ARC residential facility serving adults with developmental and physical disabilities.  She transferred her administrative and leadership skills to her work at the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners and then spent 10 years working with the Northeast Massachusetts Regional Library System (NMRLS), which services over 300 libraries.  Susan joined the Board of Directors of the Lawrence History Center (LHC) in 2010, and because of her extensive administrative background and her many previous professional connections to LHC through her work with NMRLS, she was soon appointed Executive Director. Susan immediately went to work on organizing the 2012 Bread and Roses Strike Centennial events and mapping out the future development of the Center with input from the Board.  The year of events celebrating the Centennial included exhibits, community events, an academic symposium, a vintage fashion show, and numerous performances.  Susan has successfully promoted LHC as the key place for the study of Lawrence’s immigrant history.

With Susan’s collaborative leadership style, wit and sunny disposition, she has expanded the vision of LHC by reaching out to the diverse Lawrence community with the creation of student internships and teacher partnerships.  She engages the Lawrence community in understanding its history and culture by meeting with school, civic, and cultural groups to plan and present educational and cultural programs.  Through Jericho Road Lawrence, Susan has worked with other Lawrence non-profits to help them develop their websites.  Susan is also a volunteer at her children’s school PTOs, and, with the group Morning Travelers, offers encouragement and support to families of children with Down syndrome.  The group also offers support to pregnant women who have received this pre-natal diagnosis.  Susan, who is described by friends and colleagues as having a terrific sense of humor, as being caring, resourceful, and collegial, stresses that it is important that her efforts be creative and have an impact.  In her words, “Working collectively in a community toward common goals is not only rewarding, but also effective.

Lisa GaughanGaughan, Lisa, headshot, IRS.jpg
IT Program Manager, Internal Revenue Service

Growing up in Dorchester, Lisa learned many life lessons when her parents separated when she was 12, and then through her father’s suicide a few years later.  Lisa’s mother raised her children to take pride in doing their best and instilled a strong sense of personal responsibility in all undertakings.  As a graduate of Wentworth Institute of Technology with a BS in Computer Science, Lisa began her career at the Internal Revenue Service in 1988 as a third shift computer operator.  Throughout her career she has worked in several Information Technology [IT] areas including Mainframe, Server and Operational System Security, holding positions including Computer Systems Analyst, Programmer, System Administrator, and eventually transitioning into leadership roles. Lisa received the Deputy Commissioner Award in 2013 for efforts which led to the successful downgrading of the IRS’s Information Technology Computer Security Material Weakness. This is significant as it recognizes the effort in resolving information security control weaknesses and protecting the confidentiality, integrity and availability of sensitive financial taxpayer data.

In addition to her work accomplishments, Lisa also finds time to be of service to others.  She is an active member of the Federal Employee Women’s (FEW) Program, a private, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting equality for women and addressing the concerns of women in the Federal workforce. FEW focuses on issues which span the Federal sector, and Lisa leverages the information and insight she gains through the FEW training programs and legislative updates in order to carry out her duties. Lisa has participated in local FEW chapter activities including voter registration, training programs and coat drives. She is also the IT representative for the Andover Campus Employee Ambassador Program.  Within the IT organization, many employees work remotely from their managers.  The Ambassador Program provides new employees with a local source to assist with the transition in order to increase connection to the organization. Lisa participates on the Andover Mock Interview Cadre, where she goes through the interview process with the applicant and provides constructive feedback in preparation for the actual interview. Lisa is also involved in the Haverhill Boy Scouts and was a Sunday School Teacher for Sacred Heart in Bradford, MA. Additionally, as a former member of the IRS Diversity and Equal Employment Opportunity Program Advisory Committee, Lisa partnered with the Lions Club International, establishing the eye glass donation/recycling program for IRS employees.

Cronin, Beth, headshot.jpgBeth Cronin
Outpatient Dietitian, Holy Family Hospital Diabetes Care Center

Beth was fortunate to discover her passion for diabetes education during the first rotation of her dietetic internship at the Diabetes Treatment Unit (DTU) of New England Deaconess Hospital and Joslin Diabetes Center. Immediately, it was clear that the diabetes care team (physicians, nurses, dietitians, exercise physiologists, social workers) were changing patients’ lives for the good. It was in that early role that Beth realized she wanted to be a part of that effort of improving lives. After completing her internship, Beth worked for four years in the DTU and four years in the outpatient nutrition counseling center. She loved her work, but something was missing. Patients referred to Boston facilities were frequently unavailable for follow-up support and there was little opportunity to connect with the community. This lack of community involvement was a “hole” in her life and career, especially as she was raised in a small farming town in the mid-west and was more accustomed to community connectedness. When a full-time outpatient nutritionist position opened up at Bon Secours, now Holy Family Hospital, she knew it would be a fit. Soon, she began representing the hospital through numerous community-based efforts. Beth created messaging and a presentation for children during the three-year Carol White Physical Education Grant with the City of Methuen. When Holy Family Hospital created a Diabetes Awareness Initiative video, Beth was a critical contributor to the English version. Beth’s commitment makes it possible for Holy Family to provide diabetes screenings in the community, where she interprets screening results and works closely with a Spanish interpreter. At the Annual Fiesta de Salud, the largest health fair in the city of Lawrence, Beth interprets diabetes screening results. She also creates fat- and sugar-free smoothies and provides attendees with the recipes in Spanish/English.

Beth is a tremendous advocate for patients and individuals who have diabetes or who are at risk for the disease. She frequently volunteers her time in the community to educate all populations and generations about positive nutrition habits as well as diabetes prevention and treatment. She hosts a support group for individuals with diabetes and is committed to helping family members understand ways they can help. Beth has a kind and nurturing approach, and is supportive, encouraging and humble. Her compassion and dedication have easily earned her the respect of her colleagues and patients. She is wholeheartedly invested in educating patients and their families in a dedicated effort to prevent, treat, manage and change the course of diabetes within the community

Yanitzia Canetti
President and CEO, Cambridge BrickHouse, Inc.Canetti, Yanitzia, headshot.jpg

This Cuban-born dynamo and key figure in the world of Spanish-language literature was recently selected by People Magazine as one of the “25 Most Powerful Hispanic Women in the World.”  The publisher of more than 300 books in a variety of genres, Yanitzia is a prolific translator whose work has included some of the most iconic of English-language children’s literature including books by Dr. Seuss, Berenstain Bears, Amelia Bedelia and the Curious George series. She even translated Spoken from the Heart, authored by former First Lady Laura Bush, and a book by the Beatles.

Yanitzia earned her Bachelor’s in Journalism, her Master’s in Linguistics and her PH.D. in Literature before emigrating to the U.S. from Cuba in 1991. Landing in California, she was introduced to the world of educational products through her work at a publishing house in Beverly Hills.  Later, she began doing contract work for Boston-based Houghton Mifflin, honing her skills in developing educational materials. Almost two decades ago, she founded Cambridge BrickHouse, a content development company that focuses on creating educational textbooks and materials in English and Spanish, and is headquartered in Lawrence.  Along with donating hundreds of books to schools throughout the U.S. and Latina America, Yanitzia is a driving force behind bringing the International Book Fair to Lawrence.  The Fair provides local student access to international literary works and promotes a love of reading. As a board member of Acting Out Theater Company, she lends her creativity and business acumen to this eclectic acting group. And did we mention she is busy writing another novel? Yanitzia recalls as a child wishing she could win a beauty contest. But sporting glasses, Russian-made braces and orthopedic boots, she received more recognition for her intellect and academic abilities. At the People Magazine ceremony, she shared the stage with Selma Hyak, Jennifer Lopez and Sofia Vergara. Recalls Yanitzia, “ But once again, it wasn’t my good looks that they considered for the award. It was my work in literature and education.”  Indeed, Yanitzia’s beauty is far more than skin deep.  The mother of two boys, Ares and Eros, Yanitzia makes sure they are part of her professional life, while remaining deeply involved in their educational and school lives. She recognizes that the YWCA’s Tribute to Women honors women for their true beauty, and she feels grateful to continue her work to improve the quality of education for all children.

Nurys CamargoCamargo, Nurys, headshot.jpg
Regional Director, External Affairs, AT&T Services Inc., and
Founder of Chica Project

Born in Puerto Rico to a Dominican mother and a Colombian father and raised in Florida, Nurys moved to the Boston area for college, which she attended on a soccer scholarship. After graduation, she joined the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, working in different crime units until she was named Director of Community Relations for District Attorney Daniel Conley. She left the DA’s office to work for John Kerry’s Presidential campaign in 2004 and other local races. In 2010, Nurys joined Governor Patrick’s re-election campaign as Deputy Campaign Manager, and later became part of his administration. Nurys worked as Senior Policy Advisor for the MA Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, ran Gov. Deval Patrick’s Safe and Successful youth initiative, and managed the Witness Protection Board for the state. Today she is the Regional Director for External Affairs at AT&T Inc. In this role, she provides community relations at the local level to foster corporate partnership with municipalities. Nurys works on legislative and regulatory affairs researching and preparing analysis on legislation.

In addition to her role with AT&T, Nurys is the Founder of Chica Project, a social enterprise dedicated to closing the opportunity divide for young Latinas by empowering them with the skills, confidence, and networking necessary to thrive personally and professionally. When Nurys first began her professional career in Massachusetts, she witnessed an overwhelming need and opportunity to align a growing network of Latina leaders with first-generation Latinas living in the Commonwealth’s most underserved communities. She believed that demand could be met with mentoring and career/college coaching, which could then lead to an ever increasing and stable pipeline of social mobility for the Latino community. The organization serves Latinas ages 14-18 from low-income and underserved communities in Boston, Lawrence, Holyoke and Springfield Massachusetts. The three-year program provides leadership workshops, mentoring and summer internships. Nurys has received numerous awards and recognition honoring her various contributions, including the Boston Business Journal Emerging Leader, the American Red Cross Hero Award, and the Mount Ida Distinguished Alumni Award. In 2012 she was saluted as a “Next Generation Latina” by Latina Magazine.

Maame BroadBroad, Maame, headshotl.jpg
Information Developer, Alcatel-Lucent

Growing up in Ghana, West Africa, the only daughter of loving, caring parents, Maame developed a strong sense of self.  She came to understand the importance of family and education and learned a respect for and appreciation of the elderly.  These lessons stayed with Maame when she moved to England to attend college and then later when she immigrated to the U.S. with her husband and baby daughter.  Maame began her career in the U.S. as a Technical Writer documenting telecommunications products at Alcatel-Lucent.  Her attention to detail and strong work ethic were noticed early on. Before long, Maame was asked to serve as a Lead Technical Writer to plan out and execute the creation, production, and delivery of sets of technical documents for various telecommunications products. In this role, Maame is responsible for tracking all product changes and quickly communicating those changes to her team. Often, the changes ripple through the entire set of books and requests usually come at the last minute. Maame’s ability to closely track projects, quickly respond to changes, and her flawless execution are the reason she is so successful in her role and career.

The core principals that Maame lives by are that every child can learn in their own way; that everyone needs love and nurturing; that it’s never to late to learn; and that people are generally the same the world over, and are inherently good. She has passed on these principals to her own children.  As a young mother, Maame often worked in various shelters, taking her children along to help. She brought them to nursing homes as she read to residents who had no visitors, referring to these friends as “her dears.” As a Groton resident, Maame served on the board of The Groton Center for the Arts, where she developed and planned various community activities for children and adults.  She and her family have also supported “My Father’s House,” a home for unwed mothers, and she’s worked at a food pantry loading bags of groceries for those in need. Today, Maame is president of an International Women’s Club that was formed to help other women in the community and to support, encourage, and empower women from all walks of life and nationalities. One of her greatest pleasures is witnessing her children working in the community by serving in a food pantry on Thanksgiving morning, helping to rehab a local home for pregnant teens, volunteering to play with homeless children at the end of a work day, volunteering in an AIDS orphanage in Africa, and pursuing a career in global health to help the less fortunate.

Dianne AndersonAnderson, Dianne, Cropped, LGH.jpg
President and CEO, Lawrence General Hospital [LGH]

Dianne began her impressive career as a pediatric nurse at Tufts Floating Children’s Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital. It was there she learned the importance of caring not only for the young patients, but also for their families. This theme carried her throughout her career, whether she was on a team building a large American Medical Center in Scotland, representing her profession on a national level as President of the American Organization for Nurse Executives, presenting testimony to a Joint Committee of the U.S. Congress on Nursing Shortage, or being part of a team that restored financial health to the prestigious Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, serving as the Senior Vice President of Clinical Operations. In 2009, Dianne joined LGH as CEO. In the intervening five years, Dianne transformed the hospital into a major regional medical center and one of the fastest growing hospitals in MA. During her tenure, Dianne has helped bring the clinical power of Beth Israel Deaconess and Tufts Floating Hospital for Children out of Boston to our community and launched many important programs. Some of the many impressive additions she has brought to LGH include: a new Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory, now recognized as one of the best in the state; a new inpatient Pediatric Center; a new Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery Clinic; and a new Outpatient Physical Therapy Center.
Dianne brings the voice of the Merrimack Valley to Governor Patrick’s Statewide Health Care Quality Advisory Committee, the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Hospital Association, the Massachusetts Health Care Policy Advisory Council, the American Hospital Association Regional Policy Board, Voluntary Hospitals of America Northeast, the Massachusetts Council of Community Hospitals, and the Coalition to Protect America’s Health Care. In addition to her leadership role at LGH, Dianne is actively involved with a number of local, regional and national organizations. She is on the Board of the Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Merrimack Valley YMCA, and volunteers on the United Way Healthcare Leadership Committee. Dianne credits her husband, Scott, and son, Nikolai, with grounding her and giving her perspective. Their support and confidence have made her a better leader and help her to stay focused on the needs of families in the Merrimack Valley.